St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Parish was able to serve more than 200 families this holiday season thanks to community efforts as well as proceeds from an annual Christmas fundraising campaign.
Every year, the parish distributes baskets of food items, clothing and gifts during the holiday season. This effort is made possible through donations from the community as well as funds from the Catholic Courier/Catholic Charities Christmas Appeal.
A portion of the donations collected through the appeal helps fund Hunger Relief Grants that are then distributed to local ministries by Rochester’s Catholic Family Center.
This year, CFC awarded St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Parish with a $1,500 grant that was distributed between its three worship sites, St. Michael, Our Lady of the Americas and Church of the Annunciation, to support holiday basket initiatives.
Annual Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets are done in collaboration with suburban parishes to help reach those in need by supplying families with baskets of food, clothes and toys during the holiday season. The families selected to receive baskets come from the suggestions of parishioners and referrals provided by local agencies such as CFC.
“We are very grateful for all the generosity and for the opportunity to serve our sisters and brothers,” said Father Daniel Ruiz, St. Frances Xavier Cabrini’s pastor.
According to Father Ruiz, the grant helped to fund both Christmas gifts and gift cards that were given to more than 250 families located in the heart of the city. Additional support came from such places as CFC, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, and local parishes like St. John of Rochester in Fairport and Holy Spirit in Webster which contributed monetary donations or items purchased from the parish’s Amazon Wishlist.
“People’s goodness and generosity is so beautiful and a true sign of God’s presence with us,” Father Daniel Ruiz told the Catholic Courier Dec. 17.
In addition to Christmas baskets, families also received health-care bags this year, he added, which were provided by the diocesan life-issues office along with COVID-19 rapid tests and hand sanitizers that were donated by Monroe County.
“Hopefully this will help so that they can have a Merry Christmas and know the love and nearness of God,” said Father Ruiz.